I don't normally talk about product offers, but then it occurred to me that some readers would find this promotion of interest.
Microsoft is making Visual Studio 2008 available to first-time purchasers at the upgrade price, as long as they are using another development tool, including free tools such as Visual Studio Express Editions. It should go without saying that users of previous versions of Visual Studio are also eligible for this price (as long as they are not Visual Studio volume licensees).
This means that - as long as you have downloaded and installed an Express version of Visual Studio - you can get Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition for $199 or Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition for $549. There are a number of other offers available - for MSDN and Team Editions, etc. - but this seemed to be the most significant piece of news overall for this blog's audience.
A couple of comments, to avoid follow-up questions:
- I don't know whether these offers are available worldwide.
- I don't know the difference between VS 2008 Standard and Professional, and therefore cannot recommend one over the other (I personally use Professional, but then Autodesk pays for my license).
- I actually don't know anything more about this offer, other than what I have read on the above link or from here, which is where I first found out about it.
One final point to note: you cannot currently use Visual Studio 2008 to develop ObjectARX applications for AutoCAD: you need to use the same version of the C++ compiler as the one we used to build AutoCAD, which for AutoCAD 2007-2009 means Visual Studio 2005. If you're creating applications that communicate with AutoCAD using its managed (.NET) interface or via COM, Visual Studio 2008 works well and has some interesting improvements over Visual Studio 2005 (not that I can list them, before someone asks me that, too :-).